Award-winning facility awaits Snow Conference attendees

Bob Hartnett
Deputy Director of Public Works
City of Lee's Summit, Missouri

Editor's Note: The City of Lee's Summit, Missouri Public Works Facility is included in the Technical Tour program during APWA's 2005 North American Snow Conference. On April 20, the final day of the conference, attendees can either tour the Lee's Summit facility (including the Resource Recovery Park and new Maintenance Facility), or tour the Missouri Department of Transportation's Operations Facility and KC Scout Traffic Management Center (see page 12 for related article). Both of the Technical Tours are included in the registration fee as a part of the Snow Conference educational program. See pages 13-16 for more details on the conference and a registration form, or visit the Snow Conference website at

Once again, the Kansas City area is excited to host the APWA Snow Conference. One of the Wednesday Technical Tours includes a trip to suburban Lee's Summit where guests will get a look at an intergraded Public Works Facility including the Resource Recovery Park and new Maintenance Facility. The Resource Recovery Park tour (weather permitting) will include short stops at the landfill, Recycling Center, Compost Facility, and Household Hazardous Waste Facility. From there, guests will hear a presentation from the architect that designed the new, award-winning $5.8M Maintenance Facility and tour the building with two Division representatives working out of the building. The morning will conclude with a brief discussion on anti-icing efforts in the metropolitan area, as well as an equipment show.

The first part of the tour will include the Resource Recovery Park (RRP) which operates on a six-day-per-week schedule. The area encompasses approximately 275 acres including an 80-acre sanitary landfill (opened in 1982), a four-acre yard Waste Composting Facility (opened in 1990), a one-acre drop-off Recycling Center (opened in 1991), and a Household Hazardous Waste disposal area (opened in 1997). An additional 40 acres of the site are set aside as a soil borrow area while the remainder of the property serves as a buffer from the abutting property owners.

The landfill accepts approximately 300 tons per day and has enough capacity to last until 2014. The landfill accepts construction demolition and household waste for disposal from commercial haulers and residents.

The Compost Facility accepts leaves and grass from residential and commercial customers. The leaves and grass are placed in windrows and turned on schedule to achieve maximum efficiency in the breakdown of the waste into a saleable product.

The Recycling Center is a self-serve operation that is open to the public eight hours per day, six days per week. This is a very successful program that has grown significantly in popularity over the past two years. The Recycling Center accepts a variety of plastics, paper, tin cans and aluminum cans, as well as green, clear and brown glass.

The Household Hazardous Waste Facility operates the first Saturday of the months April through November for a total of five hours per event. Customers that participate in the Mid-America Regional Council are allowed to bring up to 100 pounds of household hazardous waste per household to the event at no charge. Residents of non-participating communities are charged a handling fee for the waste upon arrival.

After the RRP tour, the group will hear a presentation from the architect that designed the award-winning facility. In the late 1990s, the City Council granted the Public Works Department funding to commission CDFM2 Architecture, Inc. (now 360-degree Architecture) to assess the need, develop a program and analyze possible sites for a new combined facility to house Fleet and Public Works Operations. The results of this study established a detailed program, a complete development budget for the project and an analysis of several sites that recommended the use of available City-owned land adjacent to their new Solid Waste Facility.

Although this is not a LEED Certified facility, it was designed to limit its impact on the environment. Plenty of natural light is introduced through the clerestory in the lobby and above the bay doors in the shop to improve the quality of the work environment and to reduce energy consumption. Recycled materials were used throughout the facility with sensitivity to off-gassing of new materials during the move-in period of the occupants. A waste-oil furnace was installed to dispose of the fleet waste oil and reduce energy consumption. With the facility being located next to the landfill, methane gas was studied as an alternative fuel to run the facility. Although the landfill is not producing an acceptable quantity of methane today, it will in the future.

This facility has become a member of the Lee's Summit civic structures. It is important that the facility express this to those visiting and passing by. The entry with its glass atrium stands tall to welcome visitors. The green metal roof is a common characteristic to other civic structures including the new public safety facility. The exterior siding of metal panels and concrete masonry units are common materials but used in a unique way. Attention to subtle details enhances an otherwise mass produced product. A standard corrugated panel has been turned on its side to run horizontal and a mixture of color is added to split-face cmu's to produce a local stone-like character. The cmu block provides an excellent base to protect the metal from damage and corrosion from the caustic elements on the ground.

Many other features worked into the design including lifts, cranes, vehicle exhaust, central lube, HID lighting, concrete column bases and floor drainage to make this a successful, functional and beautiful public facility. This part of the Technical Tour is a must for any jurisdiction considering constructing a new operations facility.

Following the presentation from the architect, the next part of the tour will include the City of Lee's Summit Maintenance Facility which houses Public Works Operations, the City's Fleet Division, and offices for the Solid Waste Division. Construction began on the building in January 2002 and was completed by November of the same year.

The tour of the facility will highlight how operational needs were incorporated into the final design of the building. Some of these items include how snow operations function in the building, methods for dealing with field employees entering and exiting the building during snow events, and logistics of equipment and vehicle maintenance and repair during snow events. The tour will also highlight the computer program used for tracking snow plowing activities.

The Fleet Division is responsible for the oversight and management of the City's motor vehicles and equipment including administration of the vehicle and equipment replacement program. The City currently has 398 vehicles and pieces of equipment in the fleet, and employs five full-time mechanics for the purpose of maintenance and repair of these vehicles. The Division runs one shift but is available for emergency repairs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Fleet Division currently serves 14 different departments.

The main entrance corridor at the Maintenance Facility

Also housed in the maintenance facility is the Lee's Summit's Public Works Operations Division (Operations) which is currently responsible for more than 400 centerline road miles within its 65-square-mile incorporation. To assist with the pretreatment of the roads, Operations has instituted a salt brine pretreatment operation. To facilitate the brine operation, Operations purchased a Dultmeir brine production system capable of producing up to 3,000 gallons of liquid salt per hour. To distribute the solution, Operations installed an 1,800-gallon distribution system in a tandem dump truck.

Operations' current plan for the brine operation can be broken down into two parts. The first concerns the pretreatment of areas known for developing ice following a warm day in which the pavement sweats then freezes overnight. This application will initially be applied up to twice a week. The second part is the treatment of major roads prior to an ice or snow event. The application of brine to the primary roads assists in keeping the snow and ice in a slushy to standard salt and sand application.

The conclusion of the Technical Tour will include an equipment show which will display snow and ice fighting equipment from Lee's Summit and surrounding Kansas City metropolitan area communities. Featured equipment will include salt brine production and application, a variety of single and tandem snow plows and salt spreaders, equipment used to load salt trucks, and Operations' 3,000-ton salt dome.

We look forward to meeting you in Kansas City and hosting one of the two tours on Wednesday, April 20!

Bob Hartnett can be reached at (816) 969-7323 or at